Louis Vuitton Time Capsule Exhibition – Los Angeles 05.18.18 – 06.10.18

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The fashion house Louis Vuitton is making its first stop in North America for its “Time Capsule Exhibition” in Los Angeles. From May 18 to June 10, you can experience this six-part mini pop-up museum featuring some of Louis Vuitton’s classic pieces from archived travel trunks to various Speedy bags from memorable collaborations. Admission is free, and the exhibit is currently located at the Century City’s Westfield Mall, which is also home to numerous designer stores and trendy eateries.

 

 

While being known for its classic pieces, this exhibition highlights Louis Vuitton’s progressive technology and designs. You can immerse yourself in LV history dating back to 1854 and experience how the Maison has modernized its styles to fit changing times.

Outside of the exhibition, you can also purchase pieces from Louis Vuitton’s gifting collection. As a collector of Louis Vuitton’s City Guides, this was the perfect opportunity to grab the latest edition for one of my upcoming destinations, Tokyo (stay tuned for that in future posts). They also have a variety of design books to add luxury to any coffee table.

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If you find yourself in LA before the exhibition closes, I highly recommend experiencing it yourself! It’s a quick stop but innovative and informative to help create a better appreciation for the longstanding Louis Vuitton fashion house.

LOUIS VUITTON TIME CAPSULE EXHIBITION
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Westfield Century City, The Atrium, Level 1
Los Angeles, California

Customized Lipstick by YSL – Yves Saint Laurent

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As Yves Saint Laurent said himself, “The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy.” I have to say that this is especially true when you can customize your own piece of luxurious makeup. When I heard that my local Nordstrom was providing engraving onto YSL lipsticks or perfume bottles this week, I had to check it out myself! While YSL products carry the high-end price tag, their quality and glamorous delivery earn this fashion house its rightful place within the luxury goods market.

First, let’s start with picking out the product. YSL offers a variety of lip products from traditional lipsticks to liquid balms to stains to glosses. I opted for the classic Rouge Pur Couture lipstick ($37… eeek, no comment!). Next, pick a shade of pink, red, purple, peach, etc. You name it, and they have the color (or rather, the number) for you! It can be a bit tricky when choosing your shade since the lipsticks are labeled with their color number rather than name, by which they are normally swatched and pictured online. Luckily, I already had an idea of what I was looking for. Given its steep price tag, I wasn’t looking for a flashy or “special occasion” color. Instead, I wanted a versatile, low maintenance shade that I could sport in the office or wear casually on the weekends. I also wanted a lipstick that could go with almost any eyeshadow look. Basically, I was looking for a nude-ish color (big surprise…NOT! haha).

Helpful Tip: If you have a favorite lipstick from another brand, bring it to the store and find a similar YSL dupe. This guarantees that you’ll wear that particular YSL shade too. I took 2 shades from MAC (Velvet Teddy and Faux) that I wear religiously and started swatching YSL shades in search of any similarities. The sales associate was also very helpful with this! We narrowed it down to shades #70 – Le Nu and #66 – Rosewood/Bois De Rose.  Both have satin finishes so though opaque, there is still a slight sheen when applied. Le Nu is one of YSL’s most popular shades being a “your lips but better” type of color. To me, this seemed to match Faux more closely. However, being so popular, they were out of stock. As fate would have it, my decision was easily made and I went with Rosewood, which is more of a warm nude (pictured above).

IMG-1269Finally, time for the show! To be honest, I assumed that there was going to be an actual person doing the engraving. I’ve seen artists hand painting onto perfume bottles at other department stores like Bloomingdales during special events. So I was somewhat surprised to discover that my Nordstrom had a machine to do the personalization. With the help of an iPad, I was able to choose my name/message, pick a font, and watch the magic happen! Check out my video clip below!

 

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Honestly, I really enjoyed the experience of choosing and watching my personalized lipstick come to life in person. However, this was only a temporary offering at my local Nordstrom. Luckily, YSL now let’s buyers customize their own products online!  The engraving is also complimentary on their website! Check it out here! The also offer additional options online for the design of the cap. Choose from classic gold, lips, starts, hearts, or sparkle. Note that there is an additional $3.00 fee for any cap other than the classic gold. Once, you choose your shade, you can input a message (up to 14 characters) or your monogram (3 letters). You are limited to letters A-Z, numbers 0-9 and symbols ‘.-_!@:# However, I did not see the option to choose your font online.

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As you can see in the pictures, I chose to put Dr. Healy on my lipstick. I acknowledge that this glamorizes my career, which in reality, requires a lot of hard work, empathy, and patience everyday. However, I love finding that balance of being a motivated professional and still enjoying a little luxury and glamour. After all, #shecanbeboth !

I hope you enjoyed hearing about this little experience! What would you engrave on a lipstick or perfume bottle? Comment below! 

 

My In-flight Skincare Routine

Scholar Ibn Battuta once said, “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” What he forgot to mention was that traveling can also leave your skin dry and dull. Check out what I’ve developed as my travel skincare routine to help combat some of the tiring effects of long flights.

Pre-Flight Body/Mind Prep:
Before a long flight, I like to take a nice shower to cleanse and just relax before I head off on another adventure. With all the stress and excitement leading up to a trip, it’s nice to clear my mind a bit. I also like to mentally go through my packing list to make sure that I brought any last minute items that I may need.  I also make sure to shave for baby-soft skin before I head out. It’s hard to predict when my next shower may be or what clothes I may want to change into once I get to my destination, so extra smooth legs just makes things a lot easier later on. After drying off, one of the most important steps is to moisturize! Believe me… this is going to be an ongoing theme throughout the travel journey. I like to go with a thicker cream if possible to keep my skin’s moisture locked in longer.

In-flight Skincare Routine:
Since I’m usually spending the day at work or running errands prior to a flight, I can guarantee that I have my normal daily makeup on when I get onto the plane. Once settled into my seat and we’ve taken off, I’ll grab a Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towlette to remove my makeup. I actually like these better than the popular Neutrogena Makeup Wipes since these have little bumps to better cleanse my face. Plus, the lower price tag helps since I use these everyday!

Now for the next step (face mask), I have two options. I’ll either apply a Sephora Collection Face Sheet Mask for about 15 minutes or so. These are great since they’re disposable. The Lotus Sheet Mask is especially useful for hydrating and soothing your skin. OR if I’m on a daytime flight and I just don’t feel like applying a sheet mask in public (usually me!), I highly recommend the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask. I know it says ‘overnight’ mask but this product works wonders as creamy, oil-free facial mask that really helps to moisturize my skin throughout a long flight. The best part is that it’s completely clear and discrete, so no one will know that I’m wearing a mask!

If I choose to apply a sheet mask,  I may follow it up by applying a quick spritz of a face mist and then apply another moisturizer. I was serious when I mentioned that moisturizing would be a common theme for this post, but it’s worth it! To be honest, if I have a face mist with me, it’ll be whatever mini or sample size I have available to pack easily. For the moisturizer, I love the Clinique Different Moisturizing Gel since it’s very hydrating but still light on the skin so it won’t clog up my pores.

In-flight Body Routine:
To keep my hands, arms, and legs hydrated it’s nice to carry a small lotion too. However, I try to stay mindful of other passengers around me and the poor ventilation on planes, so I pack lotions with no fragrances or very VERY light scents. I love the Nivea Essentially Enriched Body Lotion or the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.

However, the biggest game changer is to stay hydrated with good ‘ol H2O! The Aerospace Medical Association recommends to have about 8oz of water each hour if you’re on a longer flight. This is also a great way to force myself to get up, move around, and help get my circulation moving.

Happy travels! 

Sephora Spring Bonus Sale Event

Sephora Spring Bonus Sale Event

It’s Sephora’s turn for great beauty deals! The Spring Bonus Sale Event goes from April 13th-16th and again April 20th-23rd for VIB Rouge members who will receive 15% off. On Friday April 13th, VIB Rouge member can bring a friend in store and extend the Rouge discount to them as well. Plus, you can both receive a free gift bag with samples and a Sephora card case with any purchase.  For VIB members and Beauty Insiders, the sale goes from April 20th-23rd. VIB members will receive 15% off as well while Beauty Insiders will receive 10% off their purchases.  Here are the promo codes if you choose to shop online:

For Rouge members: YAYROUGE
For VIB members: YAYVIB
For Beauty Insiders: YAYINSIDER

Again, since this is a very modest (and pretty passable discount), I really try to strategize when selecting my purchases in order to maximize my bang for my buck! Here are some personal rules and tips that I try to follow to keep my cart from getting out of hand:

Tip #1 – Choose items that are exclusive to Sephora.  Since this retailer doesn’t offer many deals year round, this is a good time to stock up items that you can only find here (e.g. Sephora Collection, Fenty Beauty, Exclusive Sephora Collaborations)

Tip #2 – Take advantage of value sets! These sets are typically priced lower than their actual values, so you’re making a good deal even better with the discount code. This is an excellent way to also try products from a variety of brands or try some favorites from one specific company.

Tip #3 – Check out the sale page! It may seem redundant but this just means double discounts.

Tip #4 – If you know that you will use an item regularly, it may not be a bad idea to stock up on back-ups while they’re on sale.

Tip #5 – Have fun but don’t get crazy, because that can be expensive! Trying new items is just half the fun, so I do let myself get a couple random items to try out.

*Bonus Pro-Tip: If you shop online, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.


Scroll below to check out my top picks for the Sephora Spring Bonus Event!
*Note: The sale prices reflect the VIB Rouge / VIB discount of 15% off

Value Sets

Sephora Favorites –  Power of the Petal (New)
Original Price: $38.00 – Value: $124.00 – Sale Price $32.30

Too Faced – Sex on the Peach Complexion Set (Limited Edition)
Original Price: $45.00 – Value: $85.00 – Sale Price $38.25

Sephora Favorites – Sun Safety Kit
Original Price: $36.00 – Value: $161.00 – Sale Price $30.60

Fenty Beauty – Bomb Baby Mini Lip and Face Set
Original Price: $23.00 – Calculated Value: $21.69 – Sale Price $19.55
(NOTE: Sephora did not disclose the product value on their website so I calculated it based on the prices of a full size Kilawatt Freestyle Highlighter and Gloss Bomb)

Hermès – Garden Collection Coffret Set
Original Price: $50.00 – Calculated Value: $41.82 – Sale Price $33.15
(NOTE: Sephora did not disclose the product value on their website so I calculated it based on the price of a full size bottle of perfume ($138.00 for 3.3.oz)

Marc Jacobs Beauty – The Blacquer Eye
Original Price: $39.00 – Value: $69.00 – Sale Price $33.15

Marc Jacobs Beauty – Enamored With Coconut: Complexion and Gloss Set
Original Price: $75.00 – Value: $149.00 – Sale Price $63.75


Items Already on the Sale Page

Becca – Light Chaser Highlighter in Amethyst Flashes Geode
Original Price: $34.00 – Sale Price: $17.00 – Additional Sale Price: $14.45

Nars – Danger Control Eyeshadow Palette
Original Price: $49.99 – Value: $149.00 – Sale Price: $24.50 – Additional Sale Price: $20.83
*That’s about 86% off the value price! 

Sephora Collection – Bright Future Color Corrector in Peach
Original Price: $14.00 – Sale Price: $7.00 – Additional Sale Price: $5.95


What items will you be picking up during the Sephora Spring Bonus Event? Comment below!

Useful Apps for Traveling and Taking Pictures

The countdown is officially ON for our upcoming holiday to Switzerland and Italy! Whenever we prepare for a trip, there are a few apps that I like to make sure are loaded and updated on my phone. From interactive maps to photo-editing tools, I have found these to be great ways to help enjoy our time away and capture memories to look back on.

Google Maps (Free) – Okay, this sounds obvious, I know. However, this has made a world of difference on our travels! When outside of the US, we usually don’t have data plans that allow us to use internet on our phones without wifi. Granted, it’s nice to find a Starbucks with free wifi almost anywhere we go, but wifi hot spots are never guaranteed and some of the best destinations are far from free internet connections. By uploading offline maps beforehand, we can use them whenever and wherever we are without any worries. Plus, the maps are still interactive so the map moves as you move. Also, you can star any specific stores, museums, hotels, restaurants, tourist sites, etc. on a map so you can refer back to it to later. This is how we go about planning our days while on holiday in order to find the most efficient routes to get to various points of attraction. On the flip side, this app lets as also just wander freely and explore new places knowing that we can always find our way back using Google maps offline.

Stylebook (Price: $3.99) – For those who have a tendency to overpack (like me!), this is a fun way to better manage your wardrobe. Essentially, you start by uploading pictures of your individual clothes/accessories or just find photos of the items online. Then use the app to put together different outfits! Sounds simple enough but Stylebook provides so many more capabilities to make the most out of your closet. For example, you can also create packing lists to ensure that you remember to bring everything you need for a trip. For those who prefer to use this app for day-to-day outfits, there is also a calendar that allows you to plan out what to wear on specific days. This could be a useful way to plan out outfits for scheduled wedding/events, corporate meetings, etc. Also, Stylebook takes it a step further and analyzes how much use you are actually getting out of each particular wardrobe piece. When you upload a picture of an item, you can also input how much you paid for it. Then Stylebook calculates “style stats” to evaluate your total closet value, cost per wear for each item, and most packed items. Stylebook can also identify your most and least worn pieces to also keep your wardrobe efficient. Check out the pictures below to see how I utilize the app!

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Yelp (Free) – Once you arrive at your destination, Yelp is an amazing means of discovering local businesses! Be sure to check in to help bookmark these places and leave your reviews.  As a part of the Yelp Elite, I LOVE checking out ratings, reviews, and pictures of food on the app. This also help to decide what sites and restaurants are worth going to and which are ok to pass on.

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Instagram (Free) – Whichever social media platform you prefer, these are great ways to share some of your memories online. I also like to browse through Instagram before my trips to scope out any IG-worthy sceneries. You can also tag your location in each post so you can look back to see where you’ve been!

Facetune ($3.99) – Have you ever taken a great picture, only to go home later and find out that someone totally photobombed your shot? Maybe you’ve traveled to a world famous attraction only to have tons of other tourists all over your picture too? Facetune is a great app to help erase any unwanted people/things out of your pics. Plus. it does a great job of blurring out any undereye bags that you may have developed while traveling!

What apps do you take with you on your travels? Comment below! 

Week 3 (FINAL WEEK) – Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – My Top Picks for Daily Steals

Week 3 (FINAL WEEK) – Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty – My Top Picks for Daily Steals

 

We’re down to the final stretch! This is the 3rd and final week of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty. Hopefully, by now, you’ve already scored some great deals and freebies! This week, Ulta is finishing up the sale event with more amazing steals, even on items that I have never seen so deeply discounted! Check out my top must-haves below. Also, don’t forget that this is also the last week to take advantage of any Hot Buys as well, so check out my separate post here for recommendations!

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Sunday, April 1

Dose of Colors Marvelous Mauves Eyeshadow Palette – This Beauty Steal is online only. I’m pretty excited to try this out! My sister raves out DOC’s Sassy Siennas Palette, so I have high hopes for their pigmentation. The shades included are: Fluffy (milky pale pink), Rosy (light rosy pink), Wishy Washy (dusty mauve), Spaced Out (muted berry mauve), and Wine Stain (blackberry).

Monday, April 2

MAC Instant Artistry Lip Prep Nude Kit – This is an online-only Platinum Perk, so you must be logged into your Ulta account and have Platinum or Diamond status to be eligible. This set has a $52 value, retails for $39.50, but will be on sale for only $19.75! I’m thrilled to see more MAC items included in these promotional events! This kit includes 3 full-size products: a Prep + Prime Lip Base, a Lipstick in Velvet Teddy, and a Lip Pencil in Boldly Bare. Velvet Teddy has been a long-time staple for me as I often reach for it during work days for a more neutral lip color. Actually, I reach for it everyday! It’s matte but very moisturizing, and it continues to look great even as it slowly fades throughout the day. Ulta previously had a deal where Velvet Teddy alone was 50% off making it $8.75, but this is a great way to try out the lip pencil and Prep + Prime at an excellent price!

Wednesday, April 4

Dermablend Loose Setting Powder – I originally purchased this product in colorless on a whim during last year’s 21 Days of Beauty Event. My combo skin tends to be more oily during Spring and Summer, so I try to use a setting powder to help keep my makeup in place and prevent it from becoming a slip and slide during long work days (biggest pet peeve!). To my surprise, this setting powder actually worked better for me than other cult favorites, including the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder, the RCMA No Colour Powder, and the Ben Nye Banana Powder. The Dermablend Powder also works well for baking and really helps to improve the longevity of makeup looks. Plus, there’s a freebie with any Dermablend purchase (scroll down for details)!

Saturday, April 7

MAC Prep + Prime Fix + – For the last day of the 21 Days of Beauty, Ulta is going BIG with this steal! The original scent will be 50% off, making it only $13 for the full-size (3.4 oz)! I have yet to see this item at such a good discount, especially since the mini size (1 oz) retails for $12.  This is the OG of hydrating/setting mists! It gives an instant boost of hydration while creating a soft glow to refresh and set makeup. You can also spray brushes with this prior to dipping into eyeshadows/pigments to help create a more high-impact look! OR you can add small amount of gold/bronze pigment to this bottle, shake it up, and spray all over for that summer glow! There are so many different uses for this, for beginners and pros alike.

If you plan on stocking up on any of these items (or other beauty steals), remember to check out my other post here to learn about rules and limitations to how many you can purchase.

Freebie Alerts:

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* Pro-Tip:  Add either the Deluxe Liquid Facial Soap in Oily or Deluxe Liquid Facial Soap in Mild to your cart. There will a price of $10, but once you add any other item to your cart, this will become FREE!

 

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*Pro-Tip: FREE Leather Cosmetic Bag with any Dermablend purchase (offer valid 3/18/18-4/7/18 or while supplies last). This freebie should be added to your cart automatically.

 

 

*Bonus Pro-Tip: Whether you are part of Ulta’s Rewards Program or not, don’t forget to take advantage of Ebates. This is a cash back program that I have been using for years! This is in addition to any cash back that you may already receive from your credit card. What a great way to sweeten your deals! Check out Ebates or sign up by clicking here.

Re-doing Venice, Italy

Proposal

On March 29th a few years ago, my then boyfriend proposed to me in the middle of Piazza San Marco.  At that moment, it was beyond amazing to have the entire square to ourselves! Normally, Piazza San Marcos is bustling with locals and tourists alike, but on that morning, it was just us! Granted it was about 5:30am and drizzling, but this historic landmark became the perfect backdrop to our proposal. We jokingly say that he had rented out the piazza to pop the question.  Life was very different back then. He was just starting off his career in finance, and I was still in pharmacy school on spring break. In reality, we still wouldn’t be able to rent out the entire piazza today, but we’ll always have that memory to keep! Now, we’re happily married, progressing in our careers, and as timing would having it, we’re planning to return to venice for holiday in a couple weeks!

While the “City of Canals” has its many sights and attractions, I’ll be honest – our first visit wasn’t the greatest. Maybe we were still young and naive travelers? I remember being frustrated and lost amongst the countless bridges and canals. Without an interactive map, it felt like such a big maze.  We enjoyed some iconic site such as the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, and Doge’s Palace. However, this time, we’re excited to re-do Venice and hopefully discover more beautiful scenes, scout new foods, and try some first-time activities.

Check out my wish list below of things to do or see as we re-do Venice!

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http://www.thelifeofluxury.com/incredible-experience-2015-venice-carnival/

1) Take a romantic gondola ride – When we were in Venice last, this really didn’t seem like something I cared to do. The weather was chilly and it seemed like a huge tourist trap. However, looking back, I feel like I missed out on one of the most iconic activities in the “City of Canals.” They even emulate this at the Venitian Hotel in Las Vegas, so why not try the real thing?! I’m actually really looking forward to crossing this off my bucket list!

 

2) Enjoy local tapas – Food is really one of the best ways to experience a new destination. Plus, it’s not a vacation until you can relax, enjoy delicious bites, and take in the scene with a bellini. We’re hoping to visit Cantinone Già Schiavi, which is known to be a local bar where little to no English is spoken but everyone understands how good the food is. Sounds perfect!

3) T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi – I recently found out about T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi since it is often listed as a tourist shopping mall. While I can’t deny my love to shop, what earns this location a spot on my bucket list is actually its rooftop terrace.  Reservations are highly recommended as the terrace can accommodate 80 guests during each 15-minute time slot. However, within this brief time frame, you can indulge in  panoramic views overlooking the city. 

4) Have an expresso at Florian Caffe –  Sure, this idea seems super #basic (hashtag intended), but Florian Caffe is actually the oldest coffee shop in Italy and arguably, in all of Europe. Since it opened in 1720, its interior boasts grand Venitian charm and neo-baroque decor. Meanwhile, the outside terrace basks in a up and close view of Piazza San Marco. I’m hoping to grab a table outside and so some people-watching, coffee mug in hand.

I plan to do an updated post with pictures of what we end up doing this time around. What else should we do or see in Venice? Comment below!